BEST FAIRY TALE SERIES
“Faerie Tale Theatre” (Showtime, 1982-87) Shelley Duvall, at that time best known as Jack Nicholson’s terrified wife in “The Shining,” was the narrator, host and driving force of this live-action children’s anthology series that retold popular fairy tales with a twist. The series won numerous awards and attracted first-rate talent, including Susan Sarandon, James Earl Jones, Art Carney and Jean Stapleton in front of the camera, and Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Burton, Nicholas Meyer and Gilbert Cates behind it.
“The Charmings” (ABC, 198788) The tale of Snow White and Prince Charming was played for laughs in this short-lived series that saw the enchanted couple magically transported to the 20thcentury suburbs of Los Angeles by an evil queen’s spell. Much of the comedy revolved around the culture shock Snow (Caitlin O’Heaney and later Carol Huston) and Charming (Christopher Rich) experienced in their new surroundings. Viewers never caught on.
“Beauty and the Beast” (CBS, 1987-90) Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman achieved TV stardom with this first small-screen iteration of the 18thcentury French fairy tale, she playing a rising Manhattan district attorney and he as the sensitive man-lion who watched out for – and eventually fell in love with – her. The relationship was never consummated and Hamilton’s character was killed off in Season 3, leaving him without his soulmate. The series was canceled not long after.
“The Storyteller” (HBO, 1987-88) Muppets creator Jim Henson brought to life this British import, a live action/ puppet series that revolved around an old storyteller (John Hurt) sitting in front of a fire and telling European folk tales to his sarcastic dog (voiced by Brian Henson). Guest stars included Miranda Richardson, Jonathan Pryce, Brenda Blethyn and Gabrielle Anwar.
“Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 201118) This fantasy/drama about fairy tale characters transported to a seaside Maine town by a curse starred Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison.
“Once Upon a Time”
“Faerie Tale Theatre”
“Beauty and the Beast” (CBS, 1987-90)